Traditional Texas Pecan Pie: My Great Grandmother’s Recipe

Traditional Texas Pecan Pie: My Great Grandmother’s Recipe

Photo by Mamaloli. She has a great Maple Pecan Pie recipe. 

“When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven.

It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmmm, boy.” –Jack Handy

Because I love you, and because you need to make a pecan pie next week, right here and right now I’ll share with you a pecan pie recipe that’s been in our family for a long time. (We always have a lot of pecans, you know.) We can trace this simple but incredibly yummy recipe as far back as it being from my mother’s mother’s mother’s kitchen (which is now my kitchen). And Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a few of these around.

My Great Grandmother’s Pecan Pie
What You’ll Need:
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Light Karo Syrup
(the original recipe calls for a full cup, but I like it a bit less sweet)
½ cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 Tablespoon of softened butter
(You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of bourbon for a little kick. My great grandmother did not do this.)

What You’ll Do
Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix together eggs, syrup, sugar, vanilla, softened butter. Pour it in a pie shell and arrange pecan halves on top. Bake pie on the bottom shelf of the oven for 20 minutes. Move the pie up to the middle of the oven, reduce the heat to 325 F, and bake for 20-25 more minutes.


This is super simple. Old school Texans liked things simple with just a few ingredients. However, one of those ingredients is Karo syrup…and, let’s face it, it  ‘aint what it used to be. So. If you’d rather have a traditional recipe that doesn’t include Karo syrup, here you go. From Southern Living (They have a bunch of pecan pie recipes over there.)

Southern Living’s Not My Great Grandmother’s Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie

1/2 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

(I’d add vanilla to this, this is my addition, not part of Southern Living’s recipe)

What You’ll Do

Preheat oven to 325°. Fit piecrust into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; sprinkle piecrust with powdered sugar. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until foamy; whisk in brown sugar and next 6 ingredients. Pour mixture into piecrust, and top with pecan halves. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 300°, and bake 30 more minutes. Turn oven off, and let pie stand in oven, with door closed, 3 hours.


The Kitchen

3 Responses to Traditional Texas Pecan Pie: My Great Grandmother’s Recipe

  1. What a mysterious final step to the Southern Living recipe: turn over off and leave pie there for 3 hours. I often have a step like this at the end of meals which goes something like: Put dirty cookie sheet/roasting pan in oven with intention to clean after dinner, leave for 2 weeks, discover with disgust and contemplate throwing it out.

    Thanks for the recipes. I love a Karo syrup pecan pie although here in London, it can be hard to get hold of.

  2. Hi, Laura! I am a Brazilian who has been living in Texas for almost 6 years. I do appreciate your traditional Grandma’s pecan pie recipe a lot…That’s the way that we make the best pecan pie of the nation — with Karo.

  3. Pingback: 15 Grandma’s Old Fashioned Pie Recipes

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